LEADER 00000nam  2200361   4500 
001    AAI9830063 
005    20100709103413.5 
008    100709s1998    ||||||||||||||||| ||eng d 
020    9780591826708 
035    (UMI)AAI9830063 
040    UMI|cUMI 
100 1  Machoian, Lisa 
245 14 The possibility of love: A psychological study of 
       adolescent girls' suicidal acts and self-mutilation 
300    244 p 
500    Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 59-
       04, Section: B, page: 1886 
500    Adviser: Carol Gilligan 
502    Thesis (Ed.D.)--Harvard University, 1998 
520    This research explores adolescent girls' suicidal acts and
       self-mutilation through psychological case studies. These 
       behaviors tend to begin in early adolescence; girls' 
       suicidal acts peak at ages 13 and 14 (Velez & Cohen, 
       1988). This thesis addresses the question, why at this 
       age? 
520    The literature on girls' and women's psychological 
       development theoretically guides this inquiry (Brown & 
       Gilligan, 1992). Past research reports that suicidal 
       adolescent girls often have histories of trauma, and 
       experience family violence, discord, and disruption 
       (Spirito, Brown, Overholser, & Fritz, 1989). Given this 
       history, why do girls' suicidal acts begin at adolescence 
       and peak at ages 13 and 14? 
520    To discover what girls know about why they inflict harm 
       upon themselves, I interviewed four white girls, ages 13 
       through 17. I used intensive clinical interviews because 
       the information I was seeking required the establishment 
       of a trusting relationship and an in-depth psychological 
       approach. I used the voice-centered relational method for 
       data analysis, the "Listener's Guide," to interpret the 
       narratives because it is sensitive to the layering and 
       multi-voiced nature of psychological processes (Brown, et 
       al., 1988) 
520    Findings indicate that the increase and peak in girls' 
       suicidal acts, and the onset of cutting, in early 
       adolescence signify a desperate, complex, developmental 
       peaking of hope for love and relationship. Girls' suicidal
       acts and cutting constituted strategic relational moves, a
       way of testing the hope that somebody does care. A major 
       discovery was the girls' observation and straightforward 
       description of the fact that people who did not listen to 
       their words, did listen and take them seriously when they 
       hurt themselves. The girls clearly articulated their 
       astute awareness that violence is an effective "language" 
       in that people notice and respond to violent acts. As 
       girls discovered the efficacy of speaking through violence,
       they were called "manipulative." In effect, they had 
       learned how to "manipulate" in that they succeeded in 
       gaining a response from those who had ignored their more 
       direct expressions of hurt. If this was the intention of 
       their suicidal act, they "succeeded" rather than failed--
       at least initially. Implications for clinical care, 
       education, and future research are discussed 
590    School code: 0084 
650  4 Psychology, Behavioral 
650  4 Psychology, Developmental 
690    0384 
690    0620 
710 2  Harvard University 
773 0  |tDissertation Abstracts International|g59-04B 
856 40 |uhttp://pqdd.sinica.edu.tw/twdaoapp/servlet/
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